Following on from the announcement late last year that Retravision Southern, Northern and Western would be merging to form a unified national group, the new chairman of the Retravision national board spoke exclusively to Appliance Retailer about the news.
Ian Ray, who runs the Ian Ray Electrics Retravision franchise in Swan Hill, Victoria, has joined the newly unified board as a representative of the former Retravision Southern branch. He said the merger was “exciting” for the company, and the newly united Retravision could now strengthen its position in the Australian market.
“This is something that, when I was previously national chairman, we tried to put together a lot of years ago,” said Ray. “And now that we’re achieving this, I think it’s a really exciting stage for our shareholders and for the suppliers. We’re looking forward to cutting out a lot of costs in the business, and achieving better results for the shareholders in the future.”
He said that Retravision members and suppliers would begin to see positive changes when dealing with the company.
“We’re going to try to pass on as much of the cost savings as we can to the members, so that for a start will be very good for them. And of course if the suppliers recognise the value of Retravision as a single buying group that should result, in my opinion, in better prices throughout the range.
“They [the suppliers] will only be dealing with one company instead of three, so that’s got to be cost-saving for them,” said Ray.
As a store owner himself, Ray recognised Retravision’s value to the community at a local, grass roots level, and insisted that customers would continue to get the same personal service they have always relied on.
“Nothing to the customer will have changed quite frankly. We will still be promoting as a national body the same way we promote now with our catalogues and our TV advertising and so forth.
“So as far as the customer is concerned, they won’t really notice a great deal of difference, except that we should be far more competitive. And they’ll certainly notice that! And in today’s environment, we need to be very competitive.”
As far as the timing of the merger, Ray insisted that it was not too late for Retravision to align its operations for future growth and to set about modernising the brand.
“It’s never too late!” he said. “All the members that have rung me – and I’ve had a number of members ring me from every state – are happy that Retravision has finally got to this stage and they are looking forward to a prosperous year ahead.”